MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Grand Jury handed down indictments on two Knox County men.
George Butler, 41, is scheduled for a bond hearing and possibly arraignment this afternoon in Knox County Common Pleas Court on six counts of rape, one count of intimidation of a crime victim or witness, and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor or corruption of a minor.
The case had been presented to a Knox County grand jury in 2009 and a no-bill was issued. The victim, characterized as Jane Doe, claims to have been raped by Butler 1,100 times when she was between the ages of 9 and 18.
Doe’s family contacted The Justice League of Ohio, an organization that will fight for the rights of those who have not been served by the justice system.
“We are looking forward to having a fair trial,” said Cathy Harper Lee, who founded the organization. “We became involved a little over a year ago. The family contacted us. Once we looked at the facts of the case and the exorbitant amount of evidence, we decided we most definitely wanted to provide this young sexual assault victim the assistance she deserved.”
The Justice League assisted the victim in filing an affidavit in support of arrest and conviction with Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster. According to Lee, if successful, the affidavit would have provided a first of its kind opportunity for a victim to seek criminal charges where a prosecutor’s efforts were unsuccessful.
On Dec. 9, 2009, Eyster ruled in the matter of Jane Doe vs George E. Butler stating the document was not filed in good faith and the claim was not meritorious. Eyster ordered the affidavit in support of arrest or prosecution be referred to the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office for investigation.
The prosecutor’s office in turn asked the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.
In the affidavit, Jane Doe claimed there were many letters written to her by Butler, two disposable cameras with undeveloped film and other evidence that was not presented to the Grand jury the first time.Although the records of the grand jury are sealed it could be inferred that at least some of this evidence was presented because indictments were handed down this time.
Ted Hart, the public information officer for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, said Emily Pelfrey, special prosecutor on the case, could not comment on the case.
Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said he could not by law comment on anything that happened in the grand jury.
Doe’s grandmother, when contacted by the News said, “I am really afraid of what I would say about this except my thoughts are with his [Butler’s] family and his mother. But without the Justice League [of Ohio] and Cathy [Harper Lee], he may prey on someone else. All we want is justice for my granddaughter and to stop him.”
Former Danville Police Officer Thomas Looney was indicted on one count of grand theft, a specification charge and one count of receiving stolen property.
“Count one is grand theft, a felony in the third degree. It alleges that he stole a Bushmaster .223 caliber rifle. The specification in count one is the grand jury found that he had a fire arm on or about his person at the time of the offense. That was the firearm he alleged stole,” Thatcher said. “Count two is possession of stolen property a felony of the fourth degree. That is the same gun. That also has a firearm specification.”
A warrant has been issued for Looney’s arrest.
Looney resigned from the Danville Police Department on May 5. Chief Monte Vance has finished the interviews for the position and will recommend a replacement at Monday’s council meeting.